It’s Your Choice: Are You Living Your Story?

by | Jan 17, 2019 | Mindset, Personal Growth

Photo credit: Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash

The Wise Old Man*

Once there was a wise old man who lived high in the Himalayan mountains.

Periodically he ventured down into the local town to entertain the villagers with his special knowledge and talents. One of his skills was to psychically tell them the contents in their pockets, boxes, or minds.

A few young boys decided to play a joke on the old man and discredit his special abilities.

One came up with the idea to capture a bird and hide it in his hands. He knew, of course, the man would know the object in his hands was a bird.

However, the boy devised a plan: knowing that the wise old man would correctly state that the object in his hands was a bird, the boy would ask the old man if the bird was dead or alive.

If the wise man said the bird was alive, the boy would crush the bird in his hands, so that when he opened his hands the bird would be dead. But if the man said the bird was dead, the boy would open his hands and let the bird fly free.

So no matter what the man said, the boy would prove the old man a fraud.

The following week, the man came down from the mountain into the village. The boy quickly caught a bird, cupped it out of sight behind his back, walked up to the wise old man, and asked, “What is it that I have in my hands?”

The man said, “You have a bird, my son.” The boy then asked, “Tell me, is the bird alive or dead?”

The wise old man looked at the boy and said, “The bird is as you choose it to be.”

So it is with your life.

Are You Living Your Life?

This powerful story illustrates the truth that your life will be what you choose it to be… the question is: are you living your life?

Some people just let life come to them and they act as if they’re powerless. They don’t take responsibility for their decisions or how they respond to circumstances. Or they simply wander aimlessly through life giving little thought to how they’ve ended up where they are.

Alice has this attitude in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland when she meets the Cheshire Cat:

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’

‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.

‘I don’t much care where -‘ said Alice.

‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.

‘- so long as I get SOMEWHERE,’ Alice added as an explanation.

‘Oh, you’re sure to do that,’ said the Cat, ‘if you only walk long enough.”

At times, we treat our ability to make choices like this. We throw the responsibility for our life to others… “You decide,” we say.  

Others may feel so afraid of making the wrong choice that they become paralyzed by fear to the point where they struggle to take any steps forward. Regardless of the reason, they are still giving up their power to choose and allowing others to chart their course.

And yet, when life doesn’t turn out the way they want, they blame the decision maker.

This is such a powerless way to live.

The Power Of Choice To Live Your Life

And girl, you are NOT powerless! You have the ability to think and make choices for your life. Don’t underestimate the importance of this. Each of us carries the weight of this responsibility.

However, until we fully embrace the responsibility we have for ourselves, like Alice, we’ll end up SOMEWHERE, but it may not be where we want to be.

As Stephen R. Covey says in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, we need to learn to say, ” ‘I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.’ “

Each choice we make is a brick in the path that we’re on and when we can say, “I laid that brick there. And that one there” then we can begin to choose to build a different path to get to where we want to go.

Your Life Is A Unique Blueprint

The wonderful thing about each one of our lives is that we all have a unique personality and history (read more here).

Your life is a beautiful unique blueprint.

And because I’m a person of faith, I believe that there are plans and purposes for each one of us to accomplish. Now, it’s our job to discover and live into those purposes and plans.

We need to be intentional about living our story and if you’re a person of faith like me, then we are co-writing the next chapter with God. 

To Live Your Story, First Go Within

Here’s the thing… in order to live your story, you first need to go within to understand who you are. Here are 3 things you’ll need to do: 

1. Know your strengths… learn what your gifts, talents and abilities are.

2. Discover your why… this is the passion that motivates you to do what you do. 

3. Breakthrough limiting beliefs… uncover the lies or limiting beliefs that are holding you back (read more here).

Limiting beliefs are unwanted guests that have made their home in your soul.

One of mine has been “I’m not smart enough.”And to be honest, every time I face a new opportunity or challenge, I need to confront it again. However, I continue to push through it and I’m not going to let it stop me because my life isn’t for me alone.

All of my gifts, talents and abilities… everything that I am and have isn’t just for my benefit — it’s to serve others.

Be Intentional About Living Your Story

I want to encourage you today to live your life… to be intentional about living your unique story.

If you are struggling with limiting beliefs or barriers that are keeping you from living your story, then I want to encourage you to join our community.

We call ourselves the barrier breakers because we help you break through those barriers and limiting beliefs that are holding you back from living your story.

The conversations you have with yourself matters more than what anyone else says to you. Henry Ford puts it like this: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

Hiring a coach can help you to get unstuck, overcome limiting beliefs and be intentional about leading your story. (Click Here To Learn More). 

*You’re reading a version based on the story on the Internet.


Read more from this series:

Part 1: You Have A Valuable And Unique Story To Tell

Part 2: 5 Barriers That Keep You From Loving Your Story

Part 3: It’s Your Choice: Are You Living Your Story? (this post)

Part 4: The World Will Miss Out If You Don’t Lead From Your Story

About Ann

Ann’s work is centred on the belief that every woman has purpose. So her mission is to empower a community of women to live their extraordinary lives with joy…

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Ann Visser


Mindset Coach

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